ACIM Text Reading for April 8
Chapter 12 ~ The Holy Spirit’s Curriculum
IV. Seeking and Finding
The ego is certain that love is dangerous, and this is always its central teaching. It never puts it this way; on the contrary, everyone who believes that the ego is salvation seems to be intensely engaged in the search for love. Yet the ego, though encouraging the search for love very actively, makes one proviso; do not find it. Its dictates, then, can be summed up simply as: ‘Seek and do not find’. This is the one promise the ego holds out to you, and the one promise it will keep. For the ego pursues its goal with fanatic insistence, and its judgement, though severely impaired, is completely consistent.
The search the ego undertakes is therefore bound to be defeated. And since it also teaches that it is your identification, its guidance leads you to a journey which must end in perceived self-defeat. For the ego cannot love, and in its frantic search for love it is seeking what it is afraid to find. The search is inevitable because the ego is part of your mind, and because of its source the ego is not wholly split off, or it could not be believed at all. For it is your mind that believes in it and gives existence to it. Yet it is also your mind that has the power to deny the ego’s existence, and you will surely do so when you realise exactly what the journey is on which the ego sets you.
It is surely obvious that no one wants to find what would utterly defeat him. Being unable to love, the ego would be totally inadequate in love’s presence, for it could not respond at all. Then, you would have to abandon the ego’s guidance, for it would be quite apparent that it had not taught you the response you need. The ego will therefore distort love, and teach you that love really calls forth the responses the ego can teach. Follow its teaching, then, and you will search for love, but will not recognise it.
Do you realise that the ego must set you on a journey which cannot but lead to a sense of futility and depression? To seek and not to find is hardly joyous. Is this the promise you would keep? The Holy Spirit offers you another promise, and one that will lead to joy. For His promise is always, ‘Seek and you will find’, and under His guidance you cannot be defeated. His is the journey to accomplishment, and the goal He sets before you He will give you. For He will never deceive God’s Son whom He loves with the Love of the Father.
You will undertake a journey because you are not at home in this world. And you will search for your home whether you realise where it is or not. If you believe it is outside you the search will be futile, for you will be seeking it where it is not. You do not remember how to look within for you do not believe your home is there. Yet the Holy Spirit remembers it for you, and He will guide you to your home because that is His mission. As He fulfils His mission He will teach you yours, for your mission is the same as His. By guiding your brothers home you are but following Him.
Behold the Guide your Father gave you, that you might learn you have eternal life. For death is not your Father’s Will nor yours, and whatever is true is the Will of the Father. You pay no price for life for that was given you, but you do pay a price for death, and a very heavy one. If death is your treasure, you will sell everything else to purchase it. And you will believe that you have purchased it, because you have sold everything else. Yet you cannot sell the Kingdom of Heaven. Your inheritance can neither be bought nor sold. There can be no disinherited parts of the Sonship, for God is whole and all His extensions are like Him.
The Atonement is not the price of your wholeness, but it is the price of your awareness of your wholeness. For what you chose to ‘sell’ had to be kept for you, since you could not ‘buy’ it back. Yet you must invest in it, not with money but with spirit. For spirit is will, and will is the ‘price’ of the Kingdom. Your inheritance awaits only the recognition that you have been redeemed. The Holy Spirit guides you into life eternal, but you must relinquish your investment in death, or you will not see life though it is all around you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 8
I will accept my part in God’s plan for salvation.
Today is a day of special dedication. We take a stand on but one side today. We side with truth and let illusions go. We will not vacillate between the two, but take a firm position with the One. We dedicate ourselves to truth today, and to salvation as God planned it be. We will not argue it is something else. We will not seek for it where it is not. In gladness we accept it as it is, and take the part assigned to us by God.
How happy to be certain! All our doubts we lay aside today, and take our stand with certainty of purpose, and with thanks that doubt is gone and surety has come. We have a mighty purpose to fulfill, and have been given everything we need with which to reach the goal. Not one mistake stands in our way. For we have been absolved from errors. All our sins are washed away by realizing they were but mistakes.
The guiltless have no fear, for they are safe and recognize their safety. They do not appeal to magic, nor invent escapes from fancied threats without reality. They rest in quiet certainty that they will do what it is given them to do. They do not doubt their own ability because they know their function will be filled completely in the perfect time and place. They took the stand which we will take today, that we may share their certainty and thus increase it by accepting it ourselves.
They will be with us; all who took the stand we take today will gladly offer us all that they learned and every gain they made. Those still uncertain, too, will join with us, and, borrowing our certainty, will make it stronger still. While those as yet unborn will hear the call we heard, and answer it when they have come to make their choice again. We do not choose but for ourselves today.
Is it not worth five minutes of your time each hour to be able to accept the happiness that God has given you? Is it not worth five minutes hourly to recognize your special function here? Is not five minutes but a small request to make in terms of gaining a reward so great it has no measure? You have made a thousand losing bargains at the least.
Here is an offer guaranteeing you your full release from pain of every kind, and joy the world does not contain. You can exchange a little of your time for peace of mind and certainty of purpose, with the promise of complete success. And since time has no meaning, you are being asked for nothing in return for everything. Here is a bargain that you cannot lose. And what you gain is limitless indeed!
Each hour today give Him your tiny gift of but five minutes. He will give the words you use in practicing today’s idea the deep conviction and the certainty you lack. His words will join with yours, and make each repetition of today’s idea a total dedication, made in faith as perfect and as sure as His in you. His confidence in you will bring the light to all the words you say, and you will go beyond their sound to what they really mean. Today you practice with Him, as you say:
I will accept my part in God’s plan for salvation.
In each five minutes that you spend with Him, He will accept your words and give them back to you all bright with faith and confidence so strong and steady they will light the world with hope and gladness. Do not lose one chance to be the glad receiver of His gifts, that you may give them to the world today.
Give Him the words, and He will do the rest. He will enable you to understand your special function. He will open up the way to happiness, and peace and trust will be His gifts; His answer to your words. He will respond with all His faith and joy and certainty that what you say is true. And you will have conviction then of Him Who knows the function that you have on earth as well as Heaven. He will be with you each practice period you share with Him, exchanging every instant of the time you offer Him for timelessness and peace.
Throughout the hour, let your time be spent in happy preparation for the next five minutes you will spend again with Him. Repeat today’s idea while you wait for the glad time to come to you again. Repeat it often, and do not forget each time you do so, you have let your mind be readied for the happy time to come.
And when the hour goes and He is there once more to spend a little time with you, be thankful and lay down all earthly tasks, all little thoughts and limited ideas, and spend a happy time again with Him. Tell Him once more that you accept the part that He would have you take and help you fill, and He will make you sure you want this choice, which He has made with you and you with Him.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #560: I came to learn about A Course in Miracles through my church. About the same time that I was learning the Course’s principles I was also making a commitment to be a Chaplain for my church. In my capacity as a chaplain I am to pray with congregants about issues that they request prayer about. Many of the requests I receive are ego-based problems. Knowing that the ego is an illusion makes it difficult for me to pray with others from an honest place. Is this a typical experience for people that learn ACIM? It is my desire to help others. Through ACIM I know that the only true help that I can lend is to see things rightly. How can I still help, and possibly pray with others, and yet remain true to the Course’s principles?
A: If the content in your mind is love, then you will not be in conflict, even though the theologies (the form) of these two systems differ. In other words, if you feel guided to be a Chaplain, and you feel that you can be truly helpful to others and yourself in this role, then you should follow that guidance. It takes a lot of practice to be able to minimize differences in form and concentrate primarily on the content in your mind, but if you can do that, you will realize that the greatest value in praying with others is the joining with them through sharing a common interest. The words do not matter, as the first section of The Song of Prayer pamphlet helps us understand.
The fact that the form of the prayer pertains to ego-based problems would not lead to conflict if you are clear within yourself about the purpose of your praying with your congregants — that it is a means of expressing the love in your right mind. Early in the text Jesus explains that “the value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is used truly, it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear. This does not necessarily mean that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. It does mean, however, that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable now. The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to lower it by increasing fear” (T.2.IV.5).
In his discussion of the characteristics of God’s teachers, Jesus defines honesty as “consistency” (M.4.II), another example of the primacy of content over form. Again, if you desire only to be loving, then the forms in which that love is expressed may conflict or be inconsistent with one another. But that would not matter. The ego would have us judge everything by form so that we would constantly reinforce our differences. Jesus is training us to get beyond our perception of form so that we would recognize that we all share the same interests, and ultimately that we are all same: the one Son of God. Thus, the role of Chaplain in your church would be a means of learning this, if you feel guided to take on that role.